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Volta RTTY Contest over

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Decided to try my hand at some RTTY contesting. This weekend was the Alessandro Volta RTTY Contest. In this day and age, and with the Signalink USB it was a no brainer to make RTTY contacts. On the antenna front I was severely lacking. I had put a coax choke inline to try and get some RF out of the shack. It was semi successful. However, I can no longer tune up on 6m, 10m and 15m, all of which I were able to tune before the coax choke. For those wondering, Google “ugly balun”.

I worked predominantly 20m with a smattering of 40m. There were a lot of stations. I had no stamina, and I had only worked the contest in a relaxing way. 25 contacts, claimed 72,000 points. Before you think that 72,000 points sounds like a lot, these RTTY contests appear to be judged differently and there are stations that get 10s of millions of points and even a couple multi-multi that had gotten billions of points in the past.

At any rate, It’s a fun mode. I particularly like the brief contest exchanges. I’m not a ragchewer. I just want contacts. So anybody who is willing to keep it short has my vote. The RTTY ops seem to be a pretty cool bunch. I’m sure many of them take contesting very very seriously, but they were all tolerant and patient with this new RTTY operator. With this being Mothers’ Day weekend, I really didn’t want to spend all my time operating an amateur radio contest. I suspect that i probably could have achieved 100 contacts had i operated throughout the 24 hour period and worked on more bands, even with the crappy antenna setup.

The Signalink USB works like a charm in conjunction with Ham Radio Deluxe. Probably not the best contest RTTY software, but it was already installed and I’m already somewhat used to it and it did the job well.

Thanks to those who put on the Volta RTTY Contest and the operators with whom I had the pleasure to make a contact!

Written by Mike

May 9th, 2010 at 8:24 pm